Halting Research on Chimpanzees; Preserving the Brain

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Discovered: when abstract ideas about dating don't matter, the end of invasive research on chimps, a lot of adults with diabetes, going to the dentist for your heart and another way to preserve your brain.

  • There's only two countries in the world that conduct invasive research on chimpanzees. And, the United States is one of them, The New York Times informs today (the other is Gabon). But that may no longer be the case: "a decision to stop such research in the United States could come within a year." The Times frames the debate, naturally, as one between advocacy organizations who've alleged poor conditions for the animals, and advocates who say, "If human lives can be saved ... 'it would be grossly unethical not to do research' on chimpanzees." It was only last week we noted a high profile study  by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center researchers who used an experimental drug to slim down obese rhesus monkeys, "potentially setting the stage for a new pharmaceutical approach to attacking obesity," The Wall Street Journal reported at the time. [The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal]
  • The things people say they care about in a romantic partner, they reconsider when they meet someone. Or, shorter version: you just never know who you'll fall in love with. "People liked potential partners that matched their ideals more than those that mismatched their ideals when they examined written descriptions of potential partners, but those same ideals didn't matter once they actually met in person," says research from Northwestern University and Texas A&M University. [Eurekalert]
  • File this in the 'golf is good for bulking up your brain' vein. We always just assumed it was mostly reading, word puzzles, etc that were decent for keeping the brain sharp. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, physical exercise (i.e. running) is also a good way to "preserve key parts of the brain involved in attention and memory," The Wall Street Journal reported. From a study that analyzed the treadmill running performance of older men and women: "The more physically fit the elderly person they studied, the fewer age-related brain changes the researchers could find." [The Wall Street Journal]
  • 552 million people could have diabetes by 2030. Which is a figure that boils down to about 1 in 10 adults, according to the Associated Press relaying a World Health Organization projection. But why? The answer given by the WHO's head of the diabetics unit to the AP appears to link it to humans living longer: he "said the projected future rise in diabetes cases was because of aging rather than the obesity epidemic. Most cases of diabetes are Type 2, the kind that mainly hits people in middle age, and is linked to weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle." [Associated Press]
  • Dentist teeth cleanings + bacteria scraped off teeth = less heart attack risk.  That's a simplification of the findings of a new study to be presented at the American Heart Association: "In following more than 100,000 people with no history of heart problems or stroke for an average of seven years, researchers from Taiwan found those who had their teeth scraped and cleaned by a dentist or dental hygienist at least twice a year for two years had a 24 percent lower risk for heart attack," USA Today reported. At The Atlantic, Hans Villarica added from the authors: "Good dental hygiene may reduce inflammation-causing bacterial growth that can lead to heart disease or stroke." [USA Today, The Atlantic]

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.